At one of the DA’s biggest rallies to date, the party on Saturday released a 60-page glossy 2016 local government manifesto document entitled “Change that moves South Africa forward again”. All through the document there are text boxes with examples of municipalities where the DA has managed to make a particular promise a reality. Carien du Plessis takes you through the document in a quick 9-step glance:
- First, DA leader Mmusi Maimane outlines the DA’s vision for local government in three pages, saying the 2016 elections are a crucial turning point following the Constitutional Court’s Nkandla ruling. The vision effectively summarises the manifesto promises. There is also a half-page summary of the DA’s Vision 2029, which was announced last year.
- A two-page spread reminds the voter about the DA’s values: “One nation with one future built on freedom, fairness and opportunity for all.”
- The rest of the manifesto is about the party’s promises, starting with creating opportunities and jobs by investing in infrastructure-led growth, making business easier and providing free WiFi spots in demarcated public areas such as libraries and clinics.
- The next promise is responsive local government, that will include actively recruiting the next generation of municipal officials through graduate recruitment programmes, and working with provincial government to increase drug and alcohol addiction treatment programmes. It will include putting residents first and gaining their confidence.
- Better service delivery, which includes better services for informal settlements, safe and clean public spaces, making local governments financially and environmentally sustainable.
- Honest government, which means “transparent and accountable governance” and “zero tolerance for corruption”.
- Providing “meaningful redress”, which means establishing and maintaining inclusive community amenities and spaces, connecting people from diverse backgrounds with public transport, implementing “truly broad-based black economic empowerment”, and ensuring that urban planning integrates people from diverse backgrounds.
- Making communities safer through developing specialist crime prevention units in metros to focus on crimes like gangsterism and drugs, and establishing municipal law enforcement services for traffic policing and crime prevention.
- Lastly the manifesto summarises the key messages of the DA’s local government elections campaign, which are: “Stop corruption. Create jobs. Deliver better services.”